Monday, April 25, 2011

FEEDING GROUND: Press and Process


I'm in the thick of finishing art on the sixth and final issue of FEEDING GROUND.  Haven't had time for a long process post in a while so I thought I would share links to some in-depth interviews.

After an extremely well-considered review of the first four issues by the guys at The Pullbox, they had us on for a Q&A that breaks down some of the inspiration of the book as well as the steps of our production chain.

Likewise, Chris and I had a fun conversation with horror comic maven Decapitated Dan about FG and horror books in general.  One question we addressed: why do our werewolves kinda look like baboons?  I guess I'm hearing second-hand that some readers weren't so hot on the design.  What about you?

Lastly, we were chosen as the "Sunday Pick" by Kate over at Functional Nerds.

Cool, cool.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MICHAEL HERE: Swifty, Chris, and I had ourselves a table at our first Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival in NYC this past weekend.  It was a spacious and good-spirited event but I didn't have much of a chance to walk around to see what other creators were bringing to the table.  Really cool though to introduce new readers to FEEDING GROUND and to hear back from fans who have been reading along.  Below are a few other personal highlights from the weekend:

I had contributed art for a 2-page story in the premiere issue of this GrayHaven Comics anthology and Swifty and I are going to have another one in their upcoming Issue #4.  So, it was a sweet surprise to have been situated as neighbors right next to their table.  Led by Andrew Goletz, the anthology started as a forum for pairing first-time artists and writers from the Jinxworld message boards.  Wrapped with covers and art direction by the talented Aaron Bir, the collection is a fresh voice of dedication and enthusiasm. Writer Doug Hahner was also on hand. He wrote one of my favorite stories in Issue 1 and a nicer guy you never did meet.


I devour podcasts as I work and this is the only one that disrupts my inking with laughter.  Ostensibly a comic podcast, the real attraction for me is the banter between friends Mike Dawson and Alex Robinson.  I was a cartoonist in college along with Mike and his professional work is one of the factors that encouraged me to get back into comics.  They've had me on the show in the past and this weekend I got to sub in for a stricken panelist at a live recording of the show at MoCCA, sharing convention stories with cartoonists Daniel Spottswood and John Kerschbaum and regaling the audience with my tale of destroying Capt. Lou Albano's car.  Also check out Mike's Pro T.I.P.S for more in-depth discussions with creators about the work and glamour of being a cartoonist.


-  I didn't get to see much, but the book LIAR'S KISS by Top Shelf was one attractive number that I planned on picking up.  Others agreed and it was sold out before I could grab it.

- I did get to buy GB Tran's VIETNAMERICA an incredible tome of personal journalism executed in a visual language that feels like memory to me.  Bonus - it came with the special convention cover that is a folded copy of a poster design for the book.

- I met one of my comic icons, Bill Sienkiewicz, and didn't embarrass myself all that much. I first discovered his work as a child with the “Badlands” issue of the "Demon Bear" run of THE NEW MUTANTS sandwiched between two other books in a supermarket 3-pack. It was a disturbing, challenging, find that not only opened my eyes to comics as art but the power of art in general. It continues to affect me and my work to this day. Check out this article on CBR to see images of the run and give yourself an idea on what sort of influence he had on the industry at a particular point in time.

- Swifty and I had dinner with our Editor-in-Chief at Archaia, Stephen Christy.  I am proud to be a part of a company that publishes important, attractive, work that is evolving our concept of what a comic book and comic book company can be in 2011.  Their recent Wonder Con announcements have me stoked as a comic fan, none more so than the care and vision that Stephen is putting into the graphic novel adaptation of Jim Henson's unpublished screenplay A TALE OF SAND.  Stephen is a guy who gets it, delivering quality packaging and promotion always in service of Story.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


We set up our FG shop at MOCCA this last weekend.  It was fun and went well and the instant comic community who came out to shop was encouraging.  Id say the tops were those few times I really got to talk to people looking for a new book to appreciate. And they walked away with our comic.  It's amazing to see people's eyes light up when they hear the unique selling point of our book and you know they are interested, love it, or perhaps just aren't interested, which is fine... there's something for everyone out there.  Many of the long chats I had were with creators working on their own comic looking for advice to get a publisher to look at their work or looking for a chance to share.  And between those chats was us, waiting, talking amongst ourselves about life, doing some simple selling, getting the comic idea from our minds - out there into the tangible world. 

Sunday morning, I remember seeing a guy walking up the Armory's stairs with boxes strapped to his side, fumbling posters and coffee to set up just before the gates opened and hundreds of people began walking through to shop.  And, it made me appreciate the physical challenge we "mom and pop" creators face at these conventions... "the set up"... waking early in the morning, lugging books and t-shirts and all the other merch, carrying it all miles from here to there, to set up shop shoulder to shoulder among PVC pipe make shift poster holders, hundreds of tables, cluttered ideas and styles. And it all reminded me of those nomadic merchants in 1500's who traveled to distant Asian lands, only to return to Europe to set up a makeshift weekend shop in a crazed dark market.  I'm sure even back then they had mornings like I had on Sunday.  Moments, in mid yawn, waiting for strangers to arrive en-mass... either to buy or rummage through the things we had brought to them from another world. 

By Chris Mangun